Take a hike with regional club

The Otzinachson Regional Group of the Sierra Club and the Edward Abbey Hiking Society will hold a number of hikes throughout the region. They are open to the public, but hikers should contact the hike leader prior to the event. Participants are advised to bring lunch and water on every hike.

Hikes will be held:

Today – R.B. Winter State Park and Bald Eagle State Forest, Union County. Hike a variety of strenuous trails to make a 12-mile loop. Meet at the parking lot at the breast of the dam along Route 192 at 8:30 a.m. Register with Joe Rebar at 570-259-0134.

Saturday – Loyalsock Trail, Sullivan County. Hike 6 1/2 miles from Sones Pond to the end of the trail on Route 220 via the Haystacks in an easy to moderate expedition. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the McDonald’s in Hughesville. Register with Roy Fontaine at 570-220-4707.

April 6 – Sones Pond and Haystacks, Loyalsock Trail, Sullivan County. Hike 12.5 strenuous miles from the end of the trail on Route 220 to Sones Pond, then circle around and return to the parking lot on Route 220 via the Haystacks. Meet 8:30 a.m. at the McDonald’s in Hughesville. Register with Tony Robbins at

Alpine Club sets annual dinner, meeting

The Alpine Club of Williamsport will hold its annual tureen dinner and club meeting at 5:30 tonight. Call Helen at 570-326-5644 for details and location.

Hunter education course offered

ANTES FORT – A hunter-trapper education course will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Northcentral Office of the state Game Commission, 1566 Route 44

Students must attend both days and pass the course test to receive a certification card.

Register on the Game Commission website under “Hunter-Trapper Education.” Students should study Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 9 from the online manual prior to the class.

For more information, call Max Farley at 570-337-8750.

Groups organize Earth Month Celebration

The “Caring for Communities” series, sponsored by the Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy and the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, will kick off in April.

The annual series of family friendly events engages people in learning about and gaining appreciation for the local natural environment.

Events in wetland explorations, owl prowls, star gazing, canoeing/kayaking, bicycle rides, wildflower walks and more are planned.

Everyone is welcome and most events are free.

For complete schedule of events, visit

Get answers to your coyote questions

HAWLEY – Are you curious about coyotes? Get your questions answered at 2 p.m. Saturday during a presentation and discussion at PPL’s Lake Wallenpaupack.

In the 1970s, the Pocono Mountains had the highest population of coyotes in the state. The free presentation will cover how they got here and why we have them, basic biology and genealogy, fears and controls.

Presenter Ron Tussel, an instructor with the state Game Commission and local outdoor writer, will teach attendees how to identify them by showing a coyote mount, skull and teeth.

Registration is not required. For details call Jenna Wayne of PPL at 570-253-7001 or email

For directions, visit, select Lake Wallenpaupack, then click Contacts and Directions.

Learn how to boat safely

DANVILLE – Get ready for the boating season from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with Eric and Kathy Mitcheltree, of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The course meets Pennsylvania’s requirements for formal instruction to operate a motorboat.

The Mitcheltrees will cover an introduction to the types and uses of boats, boating laws, personal safety equipment, safe boat handling, navigation, boating problems and much more. The course will include a test and application for certification.

There is a $10 fee per participants and a $10 fee per book (only one is required per family) that will be collected the day of the course. Bring a bag lunch.

To register, call 570-204-2033 with the names and phone numbers of participants.

The free program will meet at Montour Preserve’s Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit, select Montour and then click on Contacts and Directions. For more information, contact the preserve at 570-437-3131 or

Mineralogical society plans day for kids

PLEASANT GAP – The Nittany Mineralogical Society will hold its annual Minerals Junior Education Day on Saturday at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, 540 N. Harrison Road, in Centre County.

Registration is required in advance by emailing or calling 814-234-4532. Parents should indicate their desired starting time slot and the names and addresses of the children in grades one through eight who will attend.

Starting time slots are 9:30, 9:45, 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. as well as noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m. Registration is limited.

The event will give students a chance to learn about minerals, crystals, gems and fossils and to take home several samples. Stations will be set up on the following topics: gold panning, gemstone identification, invertebrate fossils (shells), vertebrate fossils (bones), bedrock geology of Pennsylvania and fluorescence (glow in the dark).

The cost is $5 per child. Parents may attend for free.

Indoor fishing derby scheduled

JERSEY SHORE – Independent Hose Co. No. 1, 130 S. Pennsylvania Ave., will hold its fifth annual Indoor Fishing Derby at 11 a.m. Saturday. Fishing starts at noon and ends at 4 p.m.

Age groups are infant to 6-year-olds and 7- to 12-year-olds.

Fishing equipment and bait will be supplied. A $10 donation enables anglers to fish all day.

Anglers can keep what they catch or put them back into the tank. Those who catch tagged fish will win a gift bag.

Games and food will be available all day.

For more information, call 570-398-0531.

Learn about native Pennsylvania plants

EBENSBURG – The Allegheny Mountain Woodland Association hold a public program titled “Native Pennsylvania Plants for Every Garden & Every Season” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Ebensburg Borough Building, 300 W. High St.

Dr. Eric Burkhart will offer a few of his top plant choices for Pennsylvania gardeners interested in integrating native plants into the landscape. For each plant, identification, cultivars, cultural requirements, ecological value and propagation methods will be reviewed. He also will present tips and ideas, drawing from his own home landscape experiments, on how to convert landscapes into native plant gardens.

Burkhart is the plant science program director for Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and teaches courses for the Penn State Ecosystem Science and Management Department.

A fee of $10 for association members and $15 for nonmembers applies. Advance registration reserves a spot but is not required.

To register or for more details, call 814-472-8560 or visit

Seven Mountains Audubon plans free field trip

LEWISBURG – The Seven Mountains Audubon will hold a free field trip at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Attendees should meet at the CVS side parking lot on Route 192, just west of Route 15. Everyone is welcome.

The group goes somewhere different each month, with a different leader each month. They do not decide where they are going until a day or two before because the decision is made on local sightings.

In March, the group went to a farm near Washingtonville and saw a snowy owl.

For more information, call 570-837-3377.

Alpine Club announces trail care hikes

The Alpine Club of Williamsport seeks volunteers to help clear the Loyalsock Trail’s footpath, trim limbs and check blazes. The club will hold trail care hikes on the following dates:

April 6 – Little Bear Road to Painter Run area and side trails

April 27 – Painter Run area to Shingle Run area plus distance to work on trail

May 4 – High Knob area

May 18 – Rain date

Volunteers should bring lunch, water, gloves, loppers, bow or folding saws and hammers. Some equipment will be provided.

Call Ruth Rode at 570-322-5878 to sign up or if you have questions or want to work on the trail at your convenience.

Boating safety course planned

HUGHESVILLE – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Williamsport, Flotilla 15-01, will offer a boating safety course from 5 to 9 p.m. April 8 and 10 at the Hughesville Area Public Library, 146 S. Fifth St.

A fee will cover the cost of materials.

Participants will receive a boating certificate from the auxiliary if they attend both sessions and will qualify for the state boating certificate upon successful completion of the course.

People who want to operate a personal watercraft (jet ski) or who were born after Jan. 1, 1982, and want to operate a boat with a 25 horsepower or larger motor are required by law to have successfully completed a recognized boating course.

For more information or to enroll, call Flotilla Commander Robert Brown at 570-368-1884 or email him at

Hunter-trapper education classes set

MUNCY VALLEY – Free hunter-trapper education classes will be held at the North Mountain Sportsmen’s Association Club on the following dates:

6 to 9:30 p.m. April 11 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12

6 to 9:30 p.m. July 11 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12

6 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16

Independent study classes from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.

Individuals who are at least 11 years old may register on the state Game Commission website for any of these classes. Attendance at the entire program is required to receive a certification card.

For more information, call Rick Smith at 570-924-3072 or email

Elk alliance chapter plans banquet

MILL HALL – The Clinton County Chapter of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance will hold its third annual fundraising banquet on April 12 at Haywoods on the Green.

Raffles, games and auctions will be held throughout the evening and prizes include firearms, jewelry, wildlife art, home furnishings, accessories, outdoor recreation items and cash.

Tickets may be purchased by contacting Lisa Lindsey at 570-249-0411 or

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance has enhanced 1,400 acres of wildlife habitat in the elk range, educated more than 12,000 school children and welcomed more than 850,000 people to the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, teaching them about elk, wildlife and natural resources.

Last year, it brought back the annual Elk Expo and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the elk reintroduction into the state. This year, construction on an outdoor education pavilion at the visitor center will begin.

Learn how to be a better birder

DANVILLE – Jon D. Beam, a naturalist at PPL’s Montour Preserve, 700 Preserve Road, will lead a workshop titled “Better Birding” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. April 12 in the preserve’s Environmental Education Center.

Field marks certainly are helpful in identifying one bird species from another. Many field guides rely heavily on these features to identify birds. But, this only is one part of putting a name to a bird. Other hints and clues should be integrated to make an identification.

Attendees will develop bird observation skills and learn what to look for before turning to a field guide to identification help. This holistic approach to birding looks at the whole picture first before examining the finer details.

The program will provide useful skills for both beginning and more advanced birders. Bring binoculars if you have them.

Tour wetlands in Montandon

MONTANDON – The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy is organizing a walk at the Montandon wetlands at 10 a.m. April 12.

Led by Bucknell University professors and Tony Markunas III, of Central Builders Supply, the walk will extend on trails deep into the marsh area; rubber boots are advised.

Meet at the Central Builders’ sand plant off Route 45, 0.3 miles east of Route 405 and the Lewisburg bridge.

See the countryside via bicycle

LEWISBURG – A Caring for Communities bicycle ride will be held at 1 p.m. April 13 along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail in Union County.

It will be led by biking enthusiast Tom Gibson. Routes will be available for two levels of experience – 15 miles and 30 miles.

Park at the lot adjacent to the Dale/Engle/Walker House and meet for departure at the Dale’s Ridge Trail parking lot. The Dale/Engle/Walker property is at 1471 Strawbridge Road, off Route 192, 1.7 miles west of Lewisburg.

The ride is sponsored by the Merrill Linn Conservancy as part of its celebration of Caring for Communities Earth Month.

Stroll under the full moon

LEWISBURG – The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority is organizing a moon walk on April 15 on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. An instructor from Bucknell or Bloomsburg universities may be on hand to shed some light on what attendees are, or aren’t, seeing.

For details, call 570-524-4774.

Discover owls and stars

LEWISBURG – The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy is organizing an owl prowl and astronomy night on April 19.

The owl walk, led by Joe Southerton, a Mifflinburg teacher, begins at 7:30 p.m. and is followed by astronomy observing at 8:30, led by Bucknell University astronomers.

Meet at the Dale’s Ridge Trail parking lot for the owl prowl and at the Dale/Engle/Walker House for the stargazing.

Learn about trees and take a walk

LEWISBURG – The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy will hold a tree walk at 6 p.m. April 25.

Attendees will learn about notable trees in downtown Lewisburg. Meet at Hufnagle Park.

Annual creek cleanup announced

MONTGOMERY – The Great Black Hole Creek Cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26, starting at Hulsizer’s Chevrolet on Main Street.

Gloves and bags will be provided. Litter also will be cleaned up along Route 54.

Lunch will be provided after the cleanup.

For more information, call Becky Sanguedolce at 570-547-6289

Outdoor events sought

Do you have a meeting or outdoor event you’d like to publicize in the Sun-Gazette?

Announcements must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the date of the event, preferably earlier.

Information and news releases may be:

Mailed to Outdoor editor, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport PA 17701

Emailed to

Dropped off at the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport

Submitted through the Outdoor section of the Virtual Newsroom on the paper’s website,

All submissions must contain the name, telephone number and, if available, email address of a contact person.

News releases submitted in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS will not be accepted.

Photographs by area residents of trophy fish or game animals or other interesting outdoor occurrences also will be considered. Digital photos may be sent by email.

Hard-copy glossy prints, negatives or slides may be dropped off or mailed. Polaroid prints typically cannot be reprinted in the newspaper.

Only photos sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope will be returned.

Announcements published in the “Outdoor Briefs” section will print in chronological order as space permits.

The Outdoors section is published weekly on Sundays, but it goes to print early on Wednesday mornings.

Therefore, all information for publication on any given Sunday must be submitted by noon on the Monday prior.

For more help, call 570-326-1551, ext. 3116.

Outdoor briefs

Listen to dulcimer music at preserve

WASHINGTONVILLE – Celebrate the beginning of spring with the delightful sounds of dulcimer music. A.J. Bashore II will perform a mix of old-time, Celtic, Appalachian, contemporary and original music from 2 to 3:30 p.m. today.

The free program will be held at the Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit, select Montour and then click on Contacts and Directions. For more information, contact the preserve at 570-437-3131 or

Discover scuba for free

Discover what it’s like to breathe underwater during a pair of free workshops. Register for the 2 p.m. event today at the Milton YMCA or for the March 23 event at the Williamsport YMCA, which also will be held at 2.

Call A Water Odyssey Scuba dive shop at 570-326-2091 to make a reservation.

Game commissioners to meet Monday

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has scheduled a public, working group meeting to be held at 8 a.m. Monday at the agency’s headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave. It also will be streamed live on the agency’s website,

Working group meetings allow for an exchange between the board and commission staff ahead of the regular quarterly meetings. While the meetings are open to the public, public comments are not accepted.

Those attending, however, are permitted to submit questions in writing to the board.

The board’s next quarterly meeting is at 8:30 a.m. April 7-8 at headquarters.

Learn how to prevent aquatic invasive species

WELLSBORO – A free aquatic invasive species workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the W.M. Tokishi Training Center, 124 NYPUM Drive.

Attendees will learn how to identify invasive species of concern and prevent their spread by reporting and simple cleaning methods. A demonstration of how to clean boots, waders and other gear will be held.

Cleaning stations will be given to the first 30 participants.

Speakers include Robert Morgan, lead aquatic invasive species ecologist with the state Fish and Boat Commission, and Matt Shank, aquatic biologist with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

Discover vernal pools

LEWISBURG – The Seven Mountains chapter of the Audubon Society and presenter Carey Entz-Rine will hold a free public program at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on vernal pools at the Kelly Township Supervisors Building, 551 Zeigler Road, Lewisburg.

For more information, call 570-837-3377.

Trail group plans film festival

CAMP HILL – Keystone Trails Association’s first Membership Celebration and Film Festival will feature three films on the Appalachian Trail. The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wesley Center of Camp Hill United Methodist Church, 417 S. 22nd St.

The films are:

“Come Walk with Me” is association member Lorrie Preston’s travelogue of hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. It includes songs by the late hiker, singer and songwriter “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz.

“Faces of the Appalachian Trail” is Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall’s documentary describing what life along the trail is like, everything that goes into making it possible and the different personalities that are drawn to the trail.

“Green Tunnel,” which documents filmmaker Kevin Gallagher’s walk of the entire trail over six months. Each day he took shots of a single section of the trail. At the end of the journey, he had more than 4,000 clips, which were strung together to offer a five-minute view of what an accelerated hike along the Appalachian mountain range would look like.

Viewers can vote for their favorite film, which will win the unique KTA Film of the Year Award.

Tickets are $15 and include a one-year individual membership to the trail association for new members. They may be purchased online at, directly from KTA or at the door.

For more information, see

Learn how to tie flies

LOCK HAVEN – The Lloyd Wilson Chapter of Trout Unlimited will hold its annual fly tying classes weekly from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Thursday through March 27 at the Citizen Hose Fire Co.

The cost is $1 per class for youths and $2 per class for adults.

Fly patterns and instructors will change weekly. Instructors are from the local chapter and Outcast Anglers Guide Service, of Loganton.

For more information, call Jim Smith at 570-398-1606.

It’s timberdoodle time at PPL Montour Preserve

DANVILLE – It’s time for a little song and dance and you’re invited to come watch and listen. This performance, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at PPL’s Montour Preserve, is unlike any you might have experienced before. It is the unique courtship ritual of the timberdoodle, also known as the American woodcock.

First, listen indoors as staff talk about the bird’s natural history and behavior, then head outdoors to watch and hear the ancient song and dance of the “timberdoodle.” Then it’s back inside to wrap up with information on woodcock conservation issues.

Meet at the Environmental Education Center.

Sportsmen to hold 54th annual banquet

HUGHESVILLE – The Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks will hold its 54th annual banquet on Saturday at the Hughesville Fire Co. social building. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 6.

The evening will include a roast beef dinner with homemade pie; a Chinese auction; a gun and rod raffle; a live auction; door prizes and a special presentation. State Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Jonathan Wyant will discuss the status of the Pennsylvania elk and the program for expanding its range.

Members also are gathering old hunting and fishing items for inclusion in the Chinese auction.

The spring trout stocking schedule for the trout the sportsmen raised this year will be available at the banquet. Organizers say the club has overcome low water conditions, disease due to high water temperature and cold and icing conditions and will be stocking about 12,000 trout this spring.

Banquet tickets are limited and will not be available at the door. Instead, they may be purchased from any club member or ordered by calling Art Fry at 570-368-1245 or Rusty Bitler at 570-584-5780

Rock and mineral club plans show

SAYRE – The Che-Hanna Rock & Mineral Club will hold its annual show on Saturday and next Sunday at the Athens Township Volunteer Fire Hall, 211 Herrick Ave.

Features will include dealers, exhibits, kids’ activities, demonstrations, fossil identification, special exhibits and a silent auction by Carnegie Museum and a fossil exhibit by the Paleontological Research Institute.

Admission fees are $3, adults; $1, students; under 8, free.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Sunday. For more information, see

50th anniversary recognition dinner announced

March 24 is the last day to make a reservation to attend the 50th anniversary of the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited. A special reception and dinner to celebrate the chapter’s founding and chartering will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. April 5 at the 33 East Restaurant, 33 E. Third St.

Ken Hunter, artist, writer and sportsman, will present the after-dinner program. There also will be a silent auction of art work and fishing gear, and proceeds will benefit the chapter’s stream conservation work.

The chapter and its members have been instrumental in public education and projects to protect and enhance streams in the area.

The cost of the dinner is $35 per person, and the public is invited to attend.

For details and tickets, call Dave Craig at 570-971-4744.

Learn how to identify sparrow species

At the Lycoming Audubon Society’s March 26 meeting, guest speaker Alex Lamoreaux will discuss strategies to identify the 17 common sparrow species of central Pennsylvania. The keen observer should learn and concentrate on a few key field marks and use the process of elimination to assist in identification. Grouping the birds into sparrow families using their size, shape, behavior and probability of occurrence provides useful clues.

Lamoreaux is studying wildlife biology at Penn State University and is a traveling field ornithologist, most recently working for the Center for Conservation Biology. An avid birder since he was 8, Lamoreaux has traveled across most of the U.S. and to Central America and Southern Africa in search of birds. He is active with “eBird,” a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information.

The chapter meeting begins at 6 p.m., with the free public program a half-hour later. It will be held at the James V. Brown Library’s Lowry Room, on the third floor of the Welch Wing, 19 E. Fourth St.

Whitetails Unlimited plans fundraiser

The West Branch Hunters Night Out will be held March 29 at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St. It is sponsored by Whitetails Unlimited. Social hour begins at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30.

The event features a two-meat buffet, auction and prizes such as firearms, outfitter packages, hunting- and outdoor-related equipment and collectibles.

Proceeds benefit local habitat improvement, the National Archery in the Schools Program and youth shooting programs.

Tickets must be purchased by March 21 by calling Dave “Huffy” Huffman at 570-772-0312 in the evenings; Gene Cahn at 570-447-6541; Dave Ellison at 570-435-5525; or WTU national headquarters at 800-274-5471.

Whitetails Unlimited is a national nonprofit conservation organization that supports education, habitat enhancement and acquisition, and the preservation of hunting.

Hunter education course offered

ANTES FORT – A hunter-trapper education course will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. March 31 and April 1 at the Northcentral Office of the state Game Commission, 1566 Route 44

Students must attend both days and pass the course test to receive a certification card.

Register on the Game Commission website under “Hunter-Trapper Education.” Students should study Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 9 from the online manual prior to the class.

For more information, call Max Farley at 570-337-8750.

Groups organize Earth Month Celebration

The “Caring for Communities” series, sponsored by the Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy and the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, will kick off in April.

The annual series of family friendly events engages people in learning about and gaining appreciation for the local natural environment.

Events in wetland explorations, owl prowls, star gazing, canoeing/kayaking, bicycle rides, wildflower walks and more are planned.

Everyone is welcome and most events are free.

For complete schedule of events, visit